Thursday, March 3, 2011

Roquefort Salad

olive oil
8 ounces (1/2 pound) smoked bacon, rind removed
2 thick slices sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

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Ingredients for the dressing:
6 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Ingredients for the salad:
4 large handfuls lamb's lettuce (mache), watercress, or rocket, washed and spun dry
2 large handfuls radicchio, washed and spun dry
A large handful shelled walnut halves, sliced
A bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
3 1/2 ounces Roquefort cheese

Preparing the salad:
Put a large frying pan on a high heat, and once hot, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

Cut bacon into thick 1/2-inch lardons, and add to the pan. Fry, stirring occasionally, for around 3 minutes, or until you've got a good bit of color on the bacon and a lot of the fat has rendered out. Turn the heat down a little and add the bread to the pan, making sure to spread the croutons out so they take on some color. Fry for another 3 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden.

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Preparing the dressing:
Put the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a jar. Put the lid on and give it a shake, then have a taste and make sure you've got the balance right. It should be slightly too acidic at this stage, as there will be quite a bit of saltiness from the bacon; French dressings tend to be quite sharp.

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Preparing the salad:
Arrange the lamb's lettuce (mache) on a big platter, tear the radicchio, and pour the dressing over the top. Scatter over most of your walnuts and chives and all the croutons and lardons. Quickly mix it all up so that every single leaf is coated.

Crumble the Roquefort over the top of the salad, along with the rest of the walnuts and chives.

Serves 4


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